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Author Topic: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?  (Read 2735 times)

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Offline Greyman

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Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« on: January 04, 2019, 09:49:06 PM »
I just bought a 2004 F450 that I plan to use only to haul my own equipment etc., with trailer as needed for tractors, building materials, etc.  The truck has a GVWR of 15,000 lbs with towing capacity of 21,400 lbs, so 36,400 lbs total.  I've done a lot of looking on the internet and it seems there are a wide variety of opinions, experiences, and interpretations of the law even by law enforcement about the need for a CDL.  The GVWR requirements for a CDL are pretty clear (over 26,000 lbs) but it gets fuzzy because they say "commercial" vehicles.  CDL even stands for Commercial Drivers License.  I've decided based on that that I don't need one.  Any advice, experience out there on this?  Should I stop at inspection stations (to explain that I don't need to stop :-\, as some on the web say) or blow on by?  I plan to carry titles and/or bills of sale for any equipment I haul to prove it's mine.  I just don't want to be forced to drop a trailer in the middle of nowhere by an overzealous cop and figure out what to do with it.  I'll look like a hotshot vehicle but won't be.

I've also read that putting "Not For Hire" on the side can be a good or a bad thing.  Would rather not do that but could probably get a magnetic one.

I'm in Texas by the way, and will be making several trips to Idaho over the next few years.  So if there are any states that are bad in between (OK, KS, CO, WY, UT, NM) maybe I can avoid them or drive at night.

I'm also getting the 3rd degree on trying to get insurance - "send us a copy of your CDL" from Progressive and Farmers.   ::)

Offline Greyman

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 09:52:45 PM »
Also, I'm not in any kind of business that would include hauling stuff.  I'm a "trying to retire" aerospace engineer.

Offline chet

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 09:58:50 PM »
Not sure about Texas, but this is the wording of one of the exemptions in Michigan.

(Individuals: Operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non-business purposes.)
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the arborist

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2019, 10:03:14 PM »
If you are driving a combination vehicle - truck and trailer - where the trailer exceeds 10,001 lbs and the combined GVWR is 26,001 lbs or more then you need a Class A CDL, does not matter if you are transporting sail boat fuel for your local charitable summer camp, seven of your very best mares, or a JD dozer.  You are exempt from the medical card, rules of service, and log book requirements if this is for personal use - but you better be able to prove that on the side of the road or you will be trying to prove it to a judge.  

I can't remember on the others but CO and WY for sure have ports of entry, and they do look for those who blow on by.    
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Offline Greyman

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 10:32:43 PM »
That sounds along the lines of what I've read in the Texas Commercial Drivers Handbook, but they are so loose with the word "commercial" that it makes it confusing.  The only definition I've seen for "commercial" in the actual laws say it's "a vehicle engaged in commerce".  

What impact does having a CDL do to insurance rates?  I wouldn't mind having a CDL because our little community in Idaho has a water truck we're hoping to hire out to fight fires and you need one to go out of state with an emergency vehicle.  I just don't want to be penalized for it by having the F450.

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 11:18:04 PM »
 sounds like you need to sell the trailer and f450 and get a BIG motor home,  toss the fancy stuff behind the driver  and put in  a large door in the back.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 11:20:15 PM »
Commercial has no bearing on my info above, that is FMCSA regulated and the numbers  / weight designate the required license. Where commercial would come into play is where the log books, hours of service, random drug testing, etc would apply. 

I can't help you with insurance rates, but I suspect a driving out of class conviction would negativity impact your rates. 
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Offline Greyman

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 11:21:44 PM »
sounds like you need to sell the trailer and f450 and get a BIG motor home,  toss the fancy stuff behind the driver  and put in  a large door in the back.
I was thinking I could just bolt a couch to the flatbed and call it an RV...   :D

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 11:42:42 PM »
I got a driving out of class in NY with a 2ton juice brake truck and an empty 4wheeled gooseneck headed to my eviction which the trooper verified. I weighed around 18k combined andnwas sleeping at a truck stop that they entered for a 3 day blitz.  Truck and trailer were towed and impounded and trailer was very hard to get back but i just barely managed.  All together it was a $3100 scam.  Their CDL book said not engaged in commerce is exempt.  She was yelling at me that i needed CDL-A, logbook, IFTA, NYS tax stamp, medical card etc.  

  I had no option to explain it to the judge, if i chose to appear in court it was a win or lose license affair that i did not expect to win.  I managed to plea bargain to a parking violation before the response deadline.  Plea bargain is a big sheet of paper you sign that releases the state of all harm for anything they do.  Then you pay em even more for the pleasure of being raped. 


Most of em might be fine folks but Its the corrupt DOT cops and tow companies and impound rackets and kickback courts you gotta watch out for.  Theyll make up anything they want and cuff you in a heartbeat if you fight it.  

May the odds be forever in your favor dude.  Thats what it boils down to.  Evade capture.  I got my A license and i still avoid scales even empty. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Tasha

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2019, 02:59:21 AM »
While I can not speak for each state and their enforcement. by Federal interstate rules you have to have a CDL.  They should actually remove the word commercial  and come up with something else but the only exemptions that the states around here have are RV's, farm if tagged as farm and operating within a small radius of said farm.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates transportation in interstate commerce for vehicles weighing 10,001 or more pounds (i.e., any of the following: gross vehicle weight (GVW), gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), gross combination weight (GCW) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR)). Vehicles with a GVW, GVWR, GCW or GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more may require the driver to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).
However, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) provide an exception for the transportation of horses and other animals to shows and events, as well as cars, boats and other similar items. When such transportation is not business related (i.e., the transportation is not for compensation, and the driver is not performing in an underlying business related to the move), the FMCSRs do not apply, even if prize or scholarship money is offered for the event. This exemption includes the Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations, requirements for use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) and CDL regulations, unless a CDL is required by the drivers home state.

Problem is in my state it is a pita to get a CDL unlike many states.

Offline Resonator

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2019, 08:14:01 AM »
You would be taking the risk of being stopped and inspected by crossing over multiple state lines (OK, KS, CO, etc.) driving what looks like a hotshot, without a CDL. The DOT can be strict and the fines heavy. You may want to hire a carrier who is licensed and insured to haul 26,000#, and avoid that risk. 
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2019, 08:49:59 AM »
Browse CFR 49. probably will make for more questions but 
at least you'll know more. 

eCFR ? Code of Federal Regulations

I say get the license, In the long run I suspect you'll be more comfortable.

D


Offline mike_belben

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2019, 09:54:51 AM »
There is no possible way to be fully compliant if the trooper steps out of his or her car having already decided you arent... is what i have learned in my 2 yrs on the road.  The CFR is too large, the powertrip troopers out there [not all are bad] dont know it and dont care. And they sure arent willing to get a roadside class from you.  The court is not in the habit of dismissing trooper errors either, youll pay before theyre thru.  Owning private duallies and running interstate has become a gamble.  Theyll accuse you of being a hotshotter and let you prove otherwise. are you gonna drive 700 miles to court and maybe lose?  No, youre gonna beg for a plea bargain over the phone and pay pay pay.

Every state has different rules and is enforcing their own at the state borders on purpose.  They dont want a standardized rulebook.  Ive been pulled over for having not for hire and ive been pulled over for not having it.  I been pulled over for plate on the front, been pulled over for plate on the back same day different state.  You cant make them all happy and thats great for state revenue.  Its a secret tollbooth.

they ticket the bigrigs on the in/out shoulders of every full rest stop a few times a night around roanoake VA. Been there paid that.  Its all an enormous revenue machine.  They dont block the shoulders so you cant park there.  They keep it wide open so you do park there, then make $1500 for the state every 3 hours all night long.  Meter maids.  When NY took my truck it started over being in the rest stop shoulder [because it was plum full] then ended with them enforcing NY specific laws.  My truck was 100% tennessee legal but they dont care.

Revelation 3:20

Online TKehl

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2019, 10:06:25 AM »
It might be fine in TX.  Going interstate though  Western states arent as harsh as New England, but it seems like a risk. 
 
This confusion is why I downgraded from a nice IH S1900 with DT466 5+2 speed to a F350 that is obviously a farm truck.   >:(
 
In MO, RVs are legal without CDL, even full blown Semis hauling campers somehow.  Farm plates give a lot of exemptions.  No CDL, medical etc. required under 40k, which is how I have mine plated, but its only good for local (150 miles) and not across state boundaries.  However, I dont think DOT cares about farm plates.  If your data plates exceed their limits, even with empty trailer, boom, issues.  I stay off the interstates  
 
If you can insure it as is, having a CDL shouldnt make a difference.  I had trouble getting insurance on the IH even with farm plates and going through Farm Bureau  Lots of places insure RVs though.  Its commercial INSURANCE on a medium duty truck that starts getting into $$$ ($3k quote).  Whereas commercial insurance on my F350 was an extra $100/year.   ::)
 
In your situation Id either make it look like a camper and plate as an RV or hire someone to haul the stuff.  Shipping can be a lot less than fines especially with fuel savings.  Also, it wouldnt hurt to have a BEEF license plate on there somewhere.  Thats a get out of jail free sometimes between the Mississippi and the Rockies.  :D
"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him."  David Brinkley

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2019, 10:14:58 AM »
Progressive commercial wrote my noncommercial policy for the 2ton without my CDL and it was cheap. Like $40 a month or so until another truck and higher coverages were added.  I think the 2 trucks and 500k coverage is $1400/yr.  I need to call and add my CDL info soon.  

I took a driving job.  1am monday morning i start hauling rock to georgia/SC.   Im sure ill have all sorts of fresh angst to share. 
Revelation 3:20

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2019, 10:20:38 AM »
I'll also add there are "schools" out there that will get you a CDL A in a day.  Usually $3-500.  A towing company in my hometown runs one.  They run single axle day cab tractors and a 20-25' flatbed.  Train you in the morning, teach you everything you need to pass the test, practice test, and if you are ready, test around noon, but they will keep training a full day if needed.  This kind of setup would be good for your situation where you just need license, not training to back to convoluted docks etc.

Mike, I guess I should have shopped around before I sold the truck.  Oh well, the other reason was I realized I'm in the manufacturing business and not he transportation business.   :)

Good luck with the new job.  Owner operator or driving theirs?  How's the family?
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Offline muggs

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2019, 11:06:53 AM »
I have driven all over the US with a F-450 flatbed pulling a 27 ft. enclosed trailer containing household goods and lumber. I only stopped one time at the NM POE. They took some of my money. I vowed to never stop again, and I have not. I have never been pulled over. Not saying you won't. Some of these states just see it as a revenue source. Logic does not seem to have much to do with it. You can buy a map book at truck stops that shows where the weight stations are at.     

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2019, 12:37:43 PM »
In the north eastern US they are EVERYWHERE.  

Just a hired wheel holder.  Drive my 13spd spring ride junkwagon to a quarry,  Get in an air on air on air automatic and move pallets of rock. Get home, catch kids, homework dinner dishes sleep 4hrs repeat. We're all good, probably better than we deserve.  Thank the Lord and thanks for asking.  ;) 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2019, 12:45:22 PM »
Mike, don't you mean that you go home and take a complete, uninterrupted 8 hour rest period before returning to work?  ;D
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline Greyman

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2019, 01:56:45 PM »
@muggs   I have heard similar stories - my brother has an employee who drove a similar vehicle with trailer for 18 years and no CDL and he never got stopped.  Some people are just lucky I guess, others not so much...  Maybe I should just load the truck bed with a round bale or two of hay and get some bumper stickers.  I will look more into getting a CDL though.  I was afraid that would jack the insurance rate way up.


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